Getting an early jump in school has long been recognized as a stepping stone to success. Thatís why itís so encouraging the Hillsborough County School District is unveiling a program next year, Bold Beginnings, that seeks to better prepare hundreds of children for the journey of life that begins in kindergarten.
The program will open up 400 seats for early learning and kindergarten readiness in the 2018-19 school year, using space at 20 under-enrolled inner-city schools. Certified educators will use established models for early learning to improve readiness as children prepare to begin their scholastic careers. The program will be funded with both public and private money, supported by a coalition of 60 institutions, from foundations and business groups to the University of South Florida. The buy-in reflects the broad value this initiative has for the community.
This is the sort of proactive approach that a growing, diverse area needs to take in preparing the next generation for the global economy. By reaching school kids earlier, Hillsborough could better track those students who may need extra tutoring, boost academic outcomes in the later grades over time and continue to make improvements in raising its graduation rate. The program also strengthens the relationship between the school district and the private sector. This is a good idea worth supporting.